Mike Fleming

Tim Burton is turning to familiar onscreen leading ladies for roles in Dark Shadows, the film he’ll direct for Warner Bros with Johnny Depp in the lead role of Barnabas Collins. Michelle Pfeiffer is in talks to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. And while talks haven’t begun yet, I’m told Helena Bonham Carter is in line to play Dr. Julia Hoffman.

Pfeiffer, who played a memorable Catwoman in the 1992 Burton-directed Batman Returns, will play the reclusive matriarch of the Collins clan. She is the owner of Collinwood, the mansion where the supernatural saga unfolds. That role was originated by Joan Bennett in the TV series.

Bonham Carter, who is Oscar nominated for The King’s Speech and just won the BAFTA, is likely to play Hoffman, a specialist in psychology and rare blood disorders who moves into Collinwood. While she initially is a threat to the vampire Barnabas, she eventually becomes his ally, who might be able to cure him of his thirst for blood. Bonham Carter, Burton’s leading lady off screen, has starred in Burton-directed films that include Alice in Wonderland and Sweeney Todd. Hoffman was played in the series by Grayson Hall.

Deadline told you previously that Eva Green was set to play the witch Angelique, Jackie Earle Haley is playing the conman Willie Loomis, while Bella Heathcoate will play Victoria Winters, the young governess of the Collins estate.